10 November 2001

Economics 101
for John Wason

When is freedom worth killing for?
The answer, when it comes from the oil administration
Is less than convincing

When extracted from Che Guevara's
Cuban Revolutionary War diaries
It is internally consistent

The Islamic fundamentalists
(as they have been painted for us)
Have a certain Jihad

The Marxists have another

They see the apocalypse
The final struggle in which good prevails over evil
As a conflict between historic forces

Two abstract economic theories
Like two translucent gods
Are locked in battle, the people of the world taking sides behind them

The world is at war
But the Taliban are not communists
Osama bin Laden is not communist

At first glance it seems
The abstract theories at war here are theological, not economic
(And I'm complimenting it by considering it a war)

It's not clear whether America wants security, revenge, or hegemony
But if the terrorists' motives have to do with abuse of Iraq or Palestine
The conflict can be traced back to private ownership of petroleum

So, then, there are two angry gods locked in battle
With the people of the world taking sides behind them
If our god prevails it will weep tears of oil upon us

Not about communism, but national sovereignty
Which is to me a similar justice
The workers own the means of production; the citizens own their
government, their land, and its resources

And are entitled to their books, their music, their theories
Their homes, their phone calls, their email accounts, their websites,
their poetry
Their election results

It's Halloween
It's a full moon
And I'm good and terrified:

I'm sitting in my darkened house
The moaning wind is making the treelimbs scrape the windowscreen
I'm listening to NPR

Newspoetry at Spineless Books